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The Hydro Nation Scholars Programme is part of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation strategy. The objective of the strategy is to develop the economic, environmental and social value of Scotland’s water resources. The Hydro Nation Scholars play an important role in supporting this by:

  • developing understanding of how and where best to develop the value of Scotland’s water resources
  • focusing on enhancing Scottish capacity in areas of existing research excellence
  • providing new research and insights where there are gaps related to water resources in Scotland.

The Programme and the associated graduate school is managed on behalf of the Scottish Government by Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW), drawing on its Scotland-wide water policy, industry, and academic network.

The Hydro Nation Scholars Programme is an open competition for PhD Scholars to undertake approved projects, hosted within Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.

Full funding is available from the Scottish Government (to host institutions via the Scottish Funding Council).  The funding available will be in line with the UK Research & Innovation ( ) doctoral stipend levels and indicative fees.   Currently these are:

  • National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2018/19 is £14,777
  • Research Councils UK Indicative Fee Level for 2018/19 is £4,260
  • Overseas Indicative Fee Level is £19,600

Supervisors will be allocated £2,500 per annum for Travel and Subsistence and all fees and stipend will be covered. Scholars will be funded for 4 years.   

Scholars will benefit from specialised programmes provided under the auspices of the Hydro Nation Graduate School.


The following projects are now available for applications:

  • Exploiting Innovative Synergies Between Environment, Health, Heritage, Business and Tourism to Improve the Maintenance and Financial Stability of Inland Waterways Infrastructure – Dr S Chastin, Glasgow Caledonian University; Prof. J Lennon, Glasgow Caledonian University and Prof J Harris, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Development of a Hybrid Prognostic Methodology and its Application on Predictive  Maintenance of Water Infrastructure Assets – Dr Octavian Niculita, Glasgow Caledonian University;  Dr Babakalli Alkali, Glasgow Caledonian University and Prof Don McGlinchey, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Assessing and Mitigating Microbial Risks Associated with Irrigation Systems used in Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA)Dr Nicola Holden, The James Hutton Institute; Professor Norval Strachan, University of Aberdeen an Dr Ashleigh Holmes, The James Hutton Institute
  • Water Quality Benefits and Tolerances of Shellfish Reef Restoration: Unlocking a Natural Business Model for Waste-Water Remediation and Re-Use of Shell WasteDr William Guy Sanderson, Heriot-Watt University; Dr Mark G J Hartl, Heriot-Watt University and Dr Karen Diele, Edinburgh Napier University
  • Blue-Green Prescribing  for a Healthier Population and a Healthier Water EnvironmentDr Karin Helwig, Glasgow Caledonian University; Dr Katherine Irvine, The James Hutton Institute and Dr Rachel Helliwell, The James Hutton Institute
  • Potentially Poisonous Plastic Particles – Microplastics as a Vector for Micropollutants in Aquatic EnvironmentsDr Carlos J Pestana, Robert Gordon University; Professor Linda A Lawton, Robert Gordon University and Professor Colin F Moffat, Robert Gordon University
  • Co-Developing Strategies to Promote Inclusive Water Governance in MalawiDr Heather Price, University of Stirling; Dr Ellis Adams, Georgia State University and Dr Tracy Morse, University of Strathclyde

  • Raising Voice for Water Security: The Dynamics of Citizenship, Engagement and Volunteerism in Accountability Processes in AfricaProfessor Nina Laurie, University of St Andrews; Dr Nicholas Hepworth, University of East Anglia and Dr Athanas Ngalawa, Mzumbe University

  • Conversion of Wastewaters and Organic Waste into Chemicals, Energy and Organic FertiliserDr Davide Dionisi, University of Aberdeen and Professor Graeme Paton, University of Aberdeen

  • Participation, Inclusion, Transparency, Integrity and Rights to Domestic Water Provision in Dar es SalaamDr Neil Munro, University of Glasgow; Dr Claire Miller, University of Glasgow and Dr Opportuna Kweka, University of Dar es Salaam

  • Testing the Effectiveness of Technological Innovations in Drinking Water Quality Monitoring on Improved Private Water Supply Management in Rural Communities in ScotlandDr Eulyn Pagaling, The James Hutton Institute; Dr Lisa Avery, The James Hutton Institute; Dr Rowan Ellis, The James Hutton Institute and Dr Helen Bridle, Heriot-Watt University

  • Bioremediation and Resource Recovery from Effluents Using AlgaeDr Michele Stanley, Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS_UHI); Dr Sebastien Jubeau, Xanthella Limited and Dr Michael E Ross, Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS_UHI)


Summary Timetable for Recruitment for 2019



Deadline for Scholar Applications

31st  January 2019

PhD Scholar Interviews

20th – 22nd  February 2019

Final Decisions on PhD Scholars

End February 2019


To apply for any of these projects, please apply at

or altenarively download the application form here and return to Laura Logie ( in electronic (Word) format by:  31st January 2019 along with a copy of your current CV.